A COMMUNITY group and a building firm have joined forces to submit plans which could secure the future of under-threat Hale library.

The proposal would provide a 6,000 sq ft building in the centre of Hale to house the library and a community centre - a new 'community hub' for the village.

Behind the scheme are Hillcrest Homes and a recently formed charity, Hale Community Trust, which represents a host of community groups including the Friends of Hale Library and Hale Civic Society.

The new facility would replace the ageing flat roof bowling pavilion and toilets overlooking the 100-year-old bowling green.

The cost of the scheme would be covered by redeveloping the site of the current 49-year-old library on Leigh Road - six houses, a shop and office with two flats above would be built there.

Council chiefs are due to make a decision on the proposal by the end of the month, after cash-strapped Trafford Council announced plans to develop the Leigh Road site and invited bids for it.

If it gets the green light, the new two-storey community facility - including public toilets - could be completed by next spring by Hillcrest Homes, part of Altrincham-based Nikal.

The scheme received enthusiastic backing when it was unveiled to members of Hale Women's Institute and Hale and District U3A, and at Sunday's 'All Aboard Hale' event.

Liz Smith, spokesperson for the bid, said: "The enthusiasm and excitement for the project has been overwhelming - people are ecstatic about it."

Rents received from the development on Leigh Road will meet the running costs of the new library and community centre.

The charity would also buy 22 car parking spaces on Cecil Road and use the proceeds from parking receipts to help fund the centre. The trust calculates it would have a guaranteed income of £80,000.

The bid document said: "Our proposal will deliver not only much needed additional housing and parking in the centre of Hale, but also a new library and community hub fit for the 21st century."

A tender process is underway and this is one of the bids being considered by the council.